This week, three important developments occurred that merit attention.

  1. Letter to Parliament on Supreme Court ruling on Unbundling Act   

In response to last week's Supreme Court ruling on the Unbundling Act (as reported in the previous Baker & McKenzie Energy Alert), the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs expressed his views on the matter in a letter to Parliament. In his letter, the Minister indicates that he does not intend to wait for a decision by the Court of the Hague on the remaining issue under article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights and suggests that parties to the litigation should consult with the Dutch Regulatory Authority, the ACM.

  1. Offshore Wind Energy Act

As planned, the Offshore Wind Energy Act entered into force on July 1. The Act creates the legislative framework to designate locations for offshore wind farms and grant licenses to construct and operate them. Now that the Act is in force, the Minister completed another step needed for his tender of the first two plots in the Borssele wind farm zones in December 2015. It is currently foreseen that applications can be filed during the months December through March. Preparations also include market consultation on the first draft project site decisions as from July 17.

  1. Energy Efficiency (Implementation of EC Directives) Act

The Minister commented on research done by CE Delft last year, regarding the huge potential of energy savings in residential and commercial real estate. The Dutch Government is currently developing an agenda to unlocking this potential. To do that, it intends to support several projects on the use of residual heat from numerous large industrial installations close to residential areas. The Government is also looking to support sustainable heat projects (such as deep geothermal energy). In addition to these relatively short term ambitions, the Ministry of Housing and Civil Services is developing a long term plan to meet the goals of the 2013 Energy Accord related to the creation of an energy neutral built environment by 2050. This will be presented to Parliament early 2016.